The Koch brothers should totally buy those papers.

It’s apparently freaking the right sort of people out.

Let me show you the following quotes from this USA Today article by Michael Wolff on the Koch brothers’ rumored desire to buy them some print newspapers. See if you can spot the internal contradictions: all bolding mine.

  • “The Koch brothers, the unimaginably rich and combatively conservative oil heirs, are telling people that they might like to buy the newspapers owned by the recently bankrupt Tribune Co.”
  • “…there are many simpler and cheaper ways to get attention for your view than buying troubled newspapers… All of which the determined Koch brothers have done. But that has not, apparently, been enough.”
  • “[The Koch brothers] may believe, with some justification, that media, and by that they mean mostly liberal media, is the real government — the cultural advance guard that is changing this country.”
  • “Curiously, most of the papers they are proposing to buy are in cities that voted overwhelmingly for the president — cities that have not had a reliably conservative base in a generation or two… Why you would go into a business trying to sell things that your customers don’t seem to want is hard to understand.”
  • “Have I mentioned that the news business is not very good?”

Continue reading The Koch brothers should totally buy those papers.

#rsrh I… would heartily recommend that conservatives avoid news careers.

I saw this Washington Post article (via Hot Air), and I, well, winced.  To be fair, I believe that the author of that article is sincere when he says that the Washington Post should hire more conservatives for its news sections; but I do not believe that the author has really considered precisely how nasty and short a career those conservatives will have, once they start becoming effective.  The brutal truth of the matter is that conservatives have noted, time and again, that attempts to break into the bastion of liberal thought that is the newspaper business goes as follows:

  • A liberal Media organization announces fairly well-known up-and-coming conservative pundit/writer to work for them.
  • The Left goes through the pundit/writer’s backlog to find something that can be used to discredit him or her.
  • The Left full-court presses their “revelations” until something sticks.
  • The liberal Media organization caves, fires the pundit/writer.
  • The Left pats itself on the back.

Continue reading #rsrh I… would heartily recommend that conservatives avoid news careers.

#rsrh xkcd gets a rare one wrong.

There is a problem with this argument:

And it can be summed up as follows: you read newspaper articles online, yes?  And you know full well that the comments sections to said articles are universally filled by crazy people who write like they had to cram to pass the Turing Test, yes?  And so you know to either not read newspaper comment sections, or else simply skim them for particularly good examples of Teh Crazy, yes?


…So why are you assuming that you’re unique in all of that? – Because, well, you’re not. Continue reading #rsrh xkcd gets a rare one wrong.

…Well, *this* was nastier than I intended it to be.

I’d change it, except that I think that it’s also true.

I think that Jonathan Last is misunderstanding Matthew Yglesias’ interests, here (the short version: the latter seems to think that American cities only had one newspaper apiece in the old days, and the former is mocking the latter in response).  The Yglesias ‘brand’ has always been ‘precocious youngster;’ which is easy enough to do when you’re a kid blogging from Harvard, but considerably harder when you’re a thirtysomething, fairly doctrinaire liberal who has had all the interesting bits burned away after spending several years in Establishment Left ‘journalist’ knocking-shops*. So, there’s not exactly a reason to avoid being sloppy: the occasional dumb mistake is perfect for simulating that fresh-faced look, no?

Now, I’m not saying that Yglesias deliberately got it wrong about how many American cities had multiple newspapers in the Good Old Days; I’m merely saying that he’s got no real pressing economic reason to do the necessary research.

Moe Lane

*Look it up.